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Information related to operating a charter boat, commercial fish pier or rental boat business in Virginia tidal waters

Resident License Fees Fees Where to buy
*CHARTER/HEAD BOAT-6 & UNDER PASSENGERS $190.00 VMRC OPERATIONS
*CHARTER/HEAD BOAT-MORE THAN 6 PASSENGERS $190.00 plus
$5.00 per passenger over 6
VMRC OPERATIONS
BOAT RENTAL $14.00 per boat
max. $703.00
VMRC OPERATIONS
COMMERCIAL FISH PIER $83.00 VMRC OPERATIONS
COMMERCIAL PIER-SALTWATER RECREATIONAL, OPTIONAL $632.00 in addition to $83 fee above VMRC OPERATIONS
CLASS A FISHING GUIDE LICENSE

$100.00

VMRC OPERATIONS
CLASS B FISHING GUIDE LICENSE

$100.00

VMRC OPERATIONS
     
Non-Resident License Fees Fees Where to buy
*NON-RESIDENT HARTER/HEAD BOAT-6 & UNDER PASSENGERS $380.00 VMRC OPERATIONS
*NON-RESIDENT CHARTER/HEAD BOAT-MORE THAN 6 PASSENGERS $380.00 plus
$5.00 per passenger over 6
VMRC OPERATIONS
NON-RESIDENT BOAT RENTAL $18.00 per boat
max. $1270.00
VMRC OPERATIONS
NON-RESIDENT CLASS A FISHING GUIDE LICENSE

$200.00

VMRC OPERATIONS
NON-RESIDENT CLASS B FISHING GUIDE LICENSE

$200.00

VMRC OPERATIONS
NON-RESIDENT FISHING GUIDE RECIPROCITY PERMIT No Cost VMRC OPERATIONS

*When the same applicant purchases a Class A or Class B fishing guide license prior to purchasing one charter boat or head boat license as required by § 28.2-302.8 of the Code of Virginia, the fee for that charter boat or head boat license shall be reduced by the cost of the fishing guide license.


Copies of the 1993 and 2009 Virginia, Maryland, and PRFC reciprocal tidal license agreements:

<MD/VA Reciprocity Agreement Amendment> <Original MD/VA Reciprocity agreement>

Charter boat permitting and other licensing requirements:

In addition to a US Coast Guard  license, the regular VA charter boat license, and the guides license referenced above, a charter boat captain may be required to obtain additional no-cost permits.  Such permits are usually set up to ensure that charter captains are aware of rules associated with special management programs for a species and to facilitate harvest reporting.  As of January 2003, the only additional permit being required for charter boat captains is for the striped bass fishery (see the striped bass regulation for specifics if you are interested in the legal requirement).

Charter boat captains are required to report to the Commission all daily quantities of striped bass caught and harvested, and daily fishing hours for themselves or their customers, respectively. Captains may report using the Charter Boat Online Reporting System or by manually submitting the following forms:

Charter Boat Harvest Reporting Form / Charter Boat Trophy Harvest Reporting Form (in PDF format; go to Forms for Word format).  For information on Charter Boat Permits  e-mail Samantha Hoover or call (757) 247-2115. You must purchase your charter boat license before requesting a permit.

In July of 2009, the Commission began the requirement that each charter or head boat vessel must have a Tilefish and Grouper Charter Landing Permit before tilefish or grouper species may be landed in Virginia.  For additional questions, please e-mail Samantha Hoover or call (757) 247-2115.

All permits and licenses expire on December 31 for the year listed on the permits or licenses.

Other reciprocal licenses:

For more information on reciprocity consult the DGIF web site or the PRFC website.

Note that additional permits may be required while operating in federal waters.   Click here for federal permitting information.

Other links of interest to charter boat captains:

General fishing regulations for recreational hook and line fishermen (apply to hook and line fishermen on a charter boat )

Regulation prohibiting sale of recreational hook&line caught fish and requiring charter boat captains to report catch if requested by personnel authorized by the Commission to collect those statistics

Regulation prohibiting commercial hook&line fishing on charter boat carrying passengers that are recreationally fishing

Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament: Includes information on Citations, Rules of the Tournament, Weigh Stations, Current State Records, Plaque Winners, Fish Tagging Program, Handling and Releasing Fish, etc.

Virginia Saltwater Angler's Guide (full color PDF guide of saltwater angling in VA)

Artificial Reef Program (webmap or newer PDF version); click here for more recent data on reefs from our SWRFDF web site.

Saltwater Review (online fishing report May to October)

Saltwater Recreational Finfish Landings Statistics from NMFS

Federal Tuna Permit and Fishing Information

 Saltwater Angling and its Economic Importance to Virginia (VIMS report in PDF format; large file about 3Mb)

 U. S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Information

 Virginia Charter Boat Association


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